For Your Benefit
For and about Hawaii's military

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, January 13, 2002

See also: In The Military

Request to replace
medals via VA

Question: I lost my service medals and heard that the Veterans Affairs could help me obtain new ones. How do I go about doing this?

Answer: Medals awarded while in active service are issued by the individual military services if requested by veterans or by the next of kin of deceased veterans. Requests should be submitted on form 180, "Request Pertaining to Military Records," which may be obtained at the VA E-Wing benefits section, from veterans' service organization representatives also located on the first floor of E-Wing, or can even be downloaded from the Internet at

Requests for medals from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard should be sent to the U.S. Navy Liaison Office, National Personnel Records Center, Room 3475, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

Requests for medals from the Army should be sent to the U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Center, Attn: ARPC-VSE, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

Requests for medals from the Air Force should be sent to the National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records), 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100. When requesting medals, type or clearly print the veteran's full name, include the veteran's branch of service, service number or Social Security number, and provide the veteran's exact or approximate dates of military service. The request must contain the signature of the veteran or the signature of the next of kin if the veteran is deceased. If available, include a copy of the discharge or separation document, DD Form 214.

Q: I am considering applying for a Veterans Affairs loan to purchase a new home. What safeguards are in place to protect a veteran who takes advantage of this program?

A: There are several home loan guarantee safeguards that have been established to protect veterans.

>> Homes completed less than a year before purchase with VA financing and inspected during construction by either VA or HUD (Housing & Urban Development) must meet VA requirements.

>> VA may suspend from the loan program those who take unfair advantage of veteran borrowers or decline to sell a new home or make a loan because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status or national origin.

>> The builder of a new home is required to give the purchasing veteran a one-year warranty that the home has been constructed to VA-approved plans and specifications. A similar warranty must be given for new manufactured homes.

>> In cases of new construction completed under VA or HUD inspection, VA may pay or otherwise compensate the veteran borrower for correction of structural defects seriously affecting livability if assistance is requested within four years of a home-loan guaranty.

>> The veteran obtaining a loan may only be charged the fees and other charges prescribed by VA as allowable.

>> The borrower can prepay without penalty the entire loan or any part not less than the amount of one installment or $100. VA encourages holders to exercise patience if a borrower becomes temporarily unable to meet the terms of the loan.

If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran,
call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.

Gregg K. Kakesako can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at

E-mail to City Desk

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